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Do You Know the Signs and Symptoms of Parkinson's Disease?

The nervous system plays a large role in the movement of a person’s body.

It receives instructions and relays information to the brain. Parkinson’s disease forces the body to move in unexpected and unrequested methods. This happens because some of the neurons in the brain break down and die. The result is some abnormal brain activity and odd instructions sent to the body. 

Currently, the cause of Parkinson’s disease is still under investigation. Research has uncovered some genes in the body which increase the chance of getting Parkinson’s disease, but that only makes up a small percentage of cases. Research will certainly continue on the subject. However, with the limited information, treatment becomes paramount. Parkinson’s has no cure. This means early identification is important to attempt to treat Parkinson’s disease and negate the symptoms sufferers have to deal with. Take this opportunity to learn more about the signs, symptoms and treatment methods of Parkinson’s disease. 

Signs and Symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease

There is a wide variety in the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. Different people may experience different symptoms. The commonality is that each is related to some aspect of motor function. Another aspect of symptoms is that they tend to start on one half of the body. As Parkinson’s disease expands, the symptoms will move to the other side of the body as well. Some of the symptoms that are common in Parkinson’s disease include:

  • Tremors - This is arguably the most well known symptom. People suffer from tremors in their limbs, hands or fingers. They may shake when the rest of the body is at rest. Some people develop this habit of rolling their forefinger and thumb. 
  • Bradykinesia - This is one of the symptoms which tends to develop more over time. Bradykinesia is a symptom in which people move slower than they used to, which slows down task completion. It’s possible for feet to drag and steps become very short. 
  • Poster and Balance Issues - Many people with Parkinson’s disease become somewhat stooped over and can struggle with their balance and become fall risks. 
  • Muscle Rigidity - It’s possible for specific muscles to become super stiff. This can lead to pain or a struggle maintaining a full range of movement. 
  • Issues With Unconscious Movements - Many of the movements people make that they don’t think about can become an issue. This includes simple actions like smiling, moving your arms while you walk and blinking. 
  • Writing Changes - Many people struggle with their handwriting once they have Parkinson’s disease. The handwriting often gets very small. 
  • Issues with Speech - Parkinson’s often causes people to speak in more of a monotone or slur their speech. Other cases can have the person speak very softly or very quickly. 

Treating Parkinson’s Disease

Parkinson’s disease can’t be cured. It’s degenerative and it gets worse. However, treatment is designed to help with the symptoms. Many people find that the symptoms can be heavily negated through the use of proper medication. Most of these medications are designed around reviving brain function by producing the chemicals that are lost from the brain due to Parkinson’s disease. 

As Parkinson’s disease further develops, there is a surgical treatment option. This surgery is known as deep brain stimulation. Surgeons will place electrodes into the brain and connect them to an implant in a person’s chest. The chest sends signals to the brain, bypassing some of the issues that Parksinson’s causes. This surgery doesn’t work for everyone, but has shown some impressive results in controlling the symptoms for many people.